Eight years ago, restaurant worker Jose Higareda filed a wage complaint against the Caliente Cantina restaurant in San Pedro, telling state investigators he was not paid for more than 100 hours of work.
Isaac Garcia, a chef who earned $10 per hour, testified that the same establishment failed to pay him $480 in 2014. Dishwasher and prep cook Jose Flores Esqueda lodged yet another complaint, saying Caliente Cantina did not compensate him for $1,080 worth of work that same year.
All three identified the restaurant’s owner as businesswoman Danielle Sandoval, according to filings in their wage cases, copies of which were reviewed by The Times. Two turned over a text message exchange in which Sandoval, now a candidate for Los Angeles City Council, allegedly acknowledged that they were owed…
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